Novice Faculty Teaching Awards

The purpose of the AACN Novice Faculty Teaching Awards is to recognize excellence and innovation in the teaching of nursing by novice faculty at AACN member schools.

Two awards will be presented each year, with one award presented in each of the following categories:

  • The Novice Faculty Excellence in Didactic Teaching Award will be presented to faculty teaching in either classroom or online settings.
  • The Novice Faculty Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award will recognize outstanding faculty teaching in clinical settings.

2022 Nominations due June 3, 2022

Frequency of Awards

The call for award applications will be announced during the Fall semester, with the nomination application packets due during the Spring semester. 

Eligibility Criteria
  • Faculty at AACN member school
  • Novice faculty; defined as teaching full- or part-time in their first faculty teaching role for five years or fewer
  • Faculty that have taught full- or part-time for at least two semesters during the previous academic year
  • Faculty with a doctoral or master’s degree in nursing
  • Faculty teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate level
Award Criteria
  • Demonstrates innovation in teaching/learning approaches
  • Demonstrates empathy and respect for students and creates a culture that encourages student expression of ideas
  • Acts as an exemplary role model and exhibits professional values and standards
  • Demonstrates evidence-based teaching/learning and integration of theory and practice

Nomination Process

The eligible faculty member may be nominated by either a student or faculty member. The nomination application packet consists of five components:

  1.  2 letters of nomination – one from a peer faculty member and one from a student
  2.  Statement of verification from nominee’s Program Chair – confirm that the nominee demonstrates overall effectiveness in the faculty role and teaching effectiveness (i.e., as reflected in student evaluations)
  3.  Nominee personal statement (one page) – explain why your approaches to teaching and learning meet the criteria for this award
  4.  Nominee curriculum vitae
  • The letter of nomination must explicitly state whether the faculty member is being nominated for the didactic or clinical award.
  • All components of the application packet will be utilized to judge the degree to which each nominee meets the award criteria.
  • All five components of the nomination application must be submitted as a single packet.
  • All letters and statements must be no longer than one page in length.
  • All letters and statements must be written within the last six months.
  • It is recommended that letters and statements address the stated award criteria and provide evidence or examples of meeting the criteria.
Submission Process

Call for applications for this award is now open. To apply, please fill out the online application. The deadline is June 3, 2022.

Presentation of Awards

The Award recipient will:

  • Choose one from the following conferences to attend and receive your award during the following academic year: Faculty Development, Transform conferences, or Doctoral Education conferences. The registration fee for your chosen conference will be waived. If the award recipient is a team, only one member of the team will receive a waived registration conference fee.
  • Receive an engraved award.
  • Be spotlighted on AACN’s website and in the association’s electronic publications.


If you have any questions, please e-mail

Congratulations to the 2021 Award Recipients!

 photo of brittany christiansen

Clinical Teaching Award


James Alberding, DNP, CRNA
University of Tennessee Knoxville

 photo of tracy vitale
Didactic Teaching Award

Tracy Vitale, DNP
Rutgers University


See all past award winners >>